Week 282 (9 - 15 March)
The heart-wrenching pleas of an 11-year old girl from Liverpool have gone viral this week after her poster for road safety and cycling awareness was posted on Twitter by a school teacher.
Annabel Killey’s mum, Clare, was killed in a collision that involved multiple cars and another cyclist at the end of last year. Following the tragic incident, Annabel drew a picture of her mum with the bike, underneath the slogan, “Be Aware for Clare”.
Annabel’s teacher, Mr Clarke, saw the poster and tweeted about the incident, saying:
“This poster was drawn by a year 6 pupil in my school who also has a brother in year 5. Their mum, whilst out cycling was killed last Thursday when she was involved in a road traffic collision. No child should ever have to lose their mum. Please RT & support #BeAwareForClare”.
The tweet was reposted over 500 times and, earlier this week, a second tweet which shows Annabel putting posters up at her school, was shared by almost 7,000 people. Liverpool stars including footballers Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Robbie Fowler have all sent messages of support to the family after seeing the message on social media.
As a family of keen cyclists, the Killey’s spent many hours on the bike and Annabel continues to ride to school on her BMX. After holding a vigil for his wife earlier this week, Mr Killey expressed hope that his wife’s death might result in greater understanding between road users.
"All I wanted in the months to come was some sort of safety message, through Clare, to be relayed,” he said. "There are small laws everybody can learn, so we [cyclists] are not seen as the enemy and so we don't see drivers as the enemy.
"This was a freak accident, and it's got to be a good thing to promote understanding so cyclists get more room on the road.”
Since Annabel’s poster went viral, a Just Giving page has been set up in Clare’s honour to help with funeral costs for the family. Over 350 people have contributed to a total of £9,135, more than double the original target set.
Annabel’s efforts to ensure something positive came out of a heart-breaking incident is helping to unite drivers and cyclists, not just in Liverpool but throughout the UK. She is JTA Communicator of the Week.